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Thursday, July 07, 2005

The Future of Oil

If you, like I, am interested in the future of oil and the theory of "Peak Oil", I highly recommend Kevin Drum's recent series of posts at the Washington Monthly. It is one of the most balanced and non-hysterical summaries I've come across. (and everything included in there applies equally to the Canadian experience as well. We use a LOT of oil here).

To whet your palatte:
#Part 1: Oil production in the non-OPEC world is likely to peak within a few years and then begin an irreversible decline.

#Part 2: Oil peaking is caused by unavoidable geologic factors. It happens to all oil fields and can't be stopped just by spending more money.

#Part 3: There isn't much oil left elsewhere in the world to make up for the upcoming decline in non-OPEC supplies. A global peak, followed by a steady decline in production, is likely within the next ten years.

#Part 4: As bad as this is, there's something even worse that's happened already: the world has run out of spare pumping capacity. The result is likely to be steadily rising prices and frequent oil shocks, leading to increasing global instability and a turbulent economy held permanent hostage to terrorists, unstable dictatorships, resource wars, and natural disasters.

#Part 5: There are things we can do to manage the approaching oil peak, but we need start now and we need to address both supply and consumption.

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